Welcome everyone for the last Day in the Writing Life for 2012. Today we have Jennie Jones, contemporary romance writer, joining us to share a day in her life.
In one or two sentences, please tell us what genre you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling. I write contemporary romance and love using humour and I seem to have evolved into finding-home stories where my characters are challenged by new towns and countries. I was a professional actor for many years, and when that stage of my life ended, I needed another artistic outlet. I found it in writing.
What time of the day do you write? Morning – no question. I get up at 5.30am and I’m at the keyboard with my first cup of tea five minutes later. I like the peace. I have two hours before the day starts with school runs and work.
Where do you write? I write in my study, it’s my ‘place’. I’ve had to teach myself to write using my laptop when I’m away from my ‘place’ but basically that’s it. I can’t write stories in workshops, I can’t hand-write stories (although I make copious notes), but I do wish I could write whilst driving – I get lots of ideas when I’m driving.
Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? I like to edit as I go (except on first draft write-outs), so I will go over the last chapter worked on, then get the plot lines straight in my mind before I start on the next chapter or scene. Once the flow begins (and I never know how to actually find it) it stays until I’m either finished or interrupted.
Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? I began as a pantser, until I discovered that I had very little conflict in my stories – now I plot a lot and still manage to pantser my way through the plot-line, so I’m happy.
Are you a goal setter with your writing? This is a good question – earlier this year I did a month of Boot Camp and learned how to write, write, write without worrying about editing or even filling in gaps. I wrote 50k in that month (it’s not easy but surprising how much comes out of you when you push yourself).
Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity? I’m never far from my Roget’s International Thesaurus, 7th Edition. Oh, and I have a note on my computer for character and story inspiration: If you build it they will come. Other than that I tend to let fate lead me to what I need and if you actively look for inspiration – it will find you.
Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals? No, I just love writing and if something goes well, that’s reward enough.
Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc? I suppose so, if you call emptying the dishwasher and hanging out the washing ‘time out’. Seriously, I do have to be careful because I’m at the computer during my day job too. During Boot Camp my posture was horrific.
Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write? My mobile. My current How To book. My Elizabeth Arden lip salve. My Ylang Ylang candle. My note book (the paper kind).
Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? It would look messy to most so I’m not sharing a photo, but it’s thoroughly organised to me. I know where every slip of paper is, what it refers to and when I might need it. I like a pot plant on my desk and other little treasures that are pertinent to me, whether it’s a note from my daughter or husband, a business card from a new writing buddy or a photo of the town or country I’m writing about.
What is your favourite form of procrastination? Worst procrastination for me is saying that I’m leaving writing alone, putting it away, forgetting about it so that I remember to live my other life, and then not doing so. All tips gratefully received.
What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session? I wonder if I can get up at 5 am and get an extra half hour in (it’s so peaceful and I get work done).
I am stunned and delighted with my progress in competitions – in reverse order:
November 2012 – I was shortlisted in the Choc Lit Search for an Australian Star competition for The House on Burra Burra Lane. Thanks Choc Lit readers for taking my story there. It sat next to some wonderful writers.
October 2012 I placed third in the Contemporary section of the Rebecca competition for The House on Burra Burra Lane.
November 2011 – I won First Place in Romance Writer’s Ink Where the Magic Begins competition for my Single Title romantic comedy Captivating Ella (now titled Don’t Tell Ella).
My website is up and running but new – I’m learning the ropes: http://www.jenniejonesromance.com
I can also be found alongside three museful and dedicated writers of romance on The Romantic Muse blog: http://theromanticmuse.blogspot.com.au
Thank you RWA for the opportunity to answer your questions! Love being an RWA member.
Jennie thank you for being part of the RWA blog today. We wish you well with your writing career and congratulations on your recent contest results. To everyone else, have a wonderful holiday season.